Prince Harry declined to attend his posh pal the Duke of Westminster’s wedding to avoid an awkward clash with his brother Prince William and other family members amid their boiling family feud, Page Six can reveal.
He got a “Save the Date” card to the wedding next summer — but then called the Duke, Hugh Grosvenor, personally to say it would be best if he and his wife, Meghan Markle, didn’t come.
It would have been the first meeting between Markle and Kate Middleton since the funeral of Queen Elizabeth in September 2022.
His decision was made well before new tensions with his brother caused by the publication of controversial author Omid Scobie’s “Endgame” last week, which launched new salvoes against William and his wife Kate Middleton, including naming her in a Dutch translation as one of the alleged “royal racists.”
Harry and Markle have kept silent over the book and the mounting storm over it.
Both Harry, 39, and his older brother Prince William, 41, are BFFs with Hugh Grosvenor, who is godfather to both their sons, Prince George and Prince Archie.
However, a storm erupted when the Sunday Times claimed that Grosvenor chose future King William over Harry to attend his wedding to Olivia Henson next summer to avoid a clash among the warring brothers.
But a source told us: “Harry actually got a ‘save the date’ card a few months ago but called Hugh and said it would be too awkward if he and Meghan Markle attended, so he made his apologies and Hugh understood.”
The wedding will be the society occasion of the year when Grosvenor, 32, one of the richest men and most prominent landowners in Britain, marries Henson, 30, at Chester Cathedral on June 7.
King Charles and Queen Camilla are also due to attend, alongside Kate Middleton. The king was a longtime friend of Grosvenor’s father, Gerald, the previous Duke of Westminster, who died in 2016.
The Times also claimed that William is in the running to be Grosvenor’s best man.
Grosvenor’s royal ties are deep. He is a godson of Charles, 75, and his mother is a godmother to Prince William.
He inherited his title and control of the Grosvenor Estate, then worth an estimated $11.3 billion (£9 billion), from his father in 2016. As such, Grosvenor is one of the wealthiest men in Britain.
This year, Bloomberg estimated that he has a net worth of approximately $11.9 billion (£9.42 billion).
The Daily Mail reported that Grosvenor was previously “very conscious” of the tensions surrounding the wedding of his sister Lady Tamara Grosvenor and Edward van Cutsem at Chester Cathedral in 2004 — where both William and Harry were ushers — and did not want anything similar at his own.
Queen Camilla, then Camilla Parker Bowles and King Charles’ girlfriend, was invited to the nuptials, but was told that she would not be permitted to sit with Prince Charles and would have to sit several rows back.
She would also have to arrive separately. This was because Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were due to attend the ceremony.
A friend of the family told the Mail: “Hugh knows how sensitive wedding invitations can be.”
William is believed to be furious at the hurtful claims made by Harry in his bombshell memoir “Spare” back in January.
And and the family rift has been opened yet wider over the past few weeks amid the leaking of the names of King Charles and William’s wife, Kate, as the alleged royals who asked what skin color Prince Archie would have before his birth.
Page Six has reached out to the Duke of Westminster for comment and reps for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.